Ask any university student about stress and you may get an exaggerated roll of the eyes and an emphatic statement of being an expert on the topic. How many of us actually do something about it? More importantly, how many of us are aware the same university that doles out pressure has an excellent resource center to help lead you through the maze?
The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) center at Portland State University is staffed by psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses and a psychometrist. All of the above are familiar with the general counseling needs of a university student population and are on hand Monday through Friday to help students with issues ranging from the mundane to the extreme.
CAPS has also teamed up with Student Health Services in an attempt to provide PSU students with optimum care and attention.
At CAPS, students have access to a variety of services including but not limited to brief individual counseling, couples therapy, alcohol and drug assessment, group counseling, psychiatric assessment and treatment, emergency services and more.
The center also houses “Shrink Rap” an interactive radio show where students can choose to write in their questions and concerns for a response from the talk show host. Students have the option of keeping their identity anonymous with an e-mail to [email protected]
At some point in their university career, some students may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of managing school, work and other relationships while also having to battle other mental health issues. CAPS recognizes this aspect of student life with a confidential individual counseling program.
This help ranges on a wide spectrum – students can choose to attend a single discussion with a mental health professional or a carefully planned counseling treatment program with medication if necessary.
The Health in Mind Lecture Program is another example of the center’s keen initiative in enhancing the student experience on campus. CAPS staff tailor lectures and presentations to meet the course curriculum of any class offered at PSU. In the past, CAPS has conducted lectures and workshops on the following issues: academic coping skills, anger management, conflict management, diversity and general health issues.
If you are registered for more than nine credits a term, you are eligible for services from CAPS and Student Health Services. Students with four to eight credits can elect to pay a health fee to the cashier’s office at Neuberger Hall during the first two weeks of the term and be eligible for services. In the summer, students taking one credit are eligible for most services.
“I like to talk to someone before an exam to loosen up. I use the services on a weekly basis,” PSU student Scott Peters said.
“I came from India, and yes, I do find it challenging here, but I have not felt the need to use the service yet. It’s nice to know that it’s available though,” said Ajay Narayan, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major at PSU.
The Counseling and Psychological Services center is located in Room M343 at the mezzanine level in Smith Memorial Student Union. CAPS can also be reached by telephone at 503-725-4423. A visit to their front desk can give you access to a multitude of brochures containing detailed information on the wide range of services offered.